The Powerpuff Girls are back, hitting screens from this April. Licensing.biz talks to Cartoon Network's VP EMEA, Johanne Broadfield about the powerful consumer products programme in place for 2017.
Can you give us a brief history of The Powerpuff Girls?
The Powerpuff Girls first flew onto Cartoon Network in 1998 and young viewers were completely captivated by the adventures of the trio.
Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup were unique: they were the original ambassadors of girl power. The show’s originality, humour and distinct visual aesthetic also resonated with teens and adults, and the critics loved it too.
The show scooped a number of awards including two Emmys and various animations honours throughout its 78 episode run.
Fast forward to the current day and we’re gearing up to a global relaunch of the franchise. Girls and parents of young women have told us that they want brands that empower and entertain so The Powerpuff Girls are back.
Even stronger than before, the new show retains the playful, offbeat humour and action of the original but it has been refreshed for a new generation of fans who will join the girls as the try to save the world before bedtime.
What are your plans for the brand throughout 2016?
We’re now just weeks away from the relaunch of the new series in EMEA and behind the scenes we’re busy building the EMEA consumer products programme that will launch here in spring 2017.
Another big focus for us will be establishing the franchise on all key platforms. Today’s generation of kids are hard-wired for choice and want to have access to content when they want it, wherever they want it and on whichever device they choose.
The Powerpuff Girls will be discoverable just about everywhere.
What licensees do you have on board with The Powerpuff Girls so far?
Globally, the licensing programme has been kicked off with Spin Master as our master global toy partner. Its line will debut this autumn in the US and has secured significant shelf space, which always augurs well for Europe.
The line will then be launching in spring 2017 across EMEA. Spin Master’s range is looking fantastic, with lots of girl-appeal and play value: it really brings the animated world to life off-screen.
We’ll be announcing further global partnerships in the run-up to International Licensing Expo along with our European and local roll-out partners across apparel, accessories and back-to-school.
The adult-targeted fashion programme has already got off to a great start with Moschino. Itsr range created a huge buzz on the catwalk, in the press and on social media and has been a key feature across the fashion pages ever since.
A number of the items sold out as soon as they hit stores, with waiting lists for the very cute Blossum, Bubbles and Buttercup handbags. We’ll be making further announcements on our adult fashion partnerships in due course.
What are your expectations for the brand?
At Cartoon Network we’re very proud of the way we launch, build and sustain successful franchises for the long-term. We’ve had an incredible reaction from fans, critics, licensees and retailers already – the girls will be around for a long time to come, just watch them!
How big do you think the brand will be in the girls’ space?
Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are true ambassadors of girl power – underneath their sugar-coated exterior, each has a strong, original personality and together they are an unstoppable force.
The brand is exceptionally strong on a number of levels but for me the fact that it’s an unadulterated celebration of female strength, sisterhood and friendship that will resonate with today’s girls and parents.